Spiritual Infancy Around the WorldMost people are in their spiritual infancy phase. They don't know what spirituality is, and for many people, they don't even care. It's much the same for a child with math, tying shoe laces, or dating. They don't much matter. Children are impulsive and work off basic programming to get what they want. "I want food now." "I want to be warm now." Adults in their spiritual infancy aren't very much different. They've got a pile of thought structures and life patterns on top of the same immediate gratification triggers. "I want to get laid." "I want to buy that." And so forth. They aren't owning their life in any way, and they can get easily manipulated by others because they have very narrow and self-involved perspectives. They may also manipulate others. They can feel like victims a lot or are always afraid of becoming the victim, which can make them very aggressive. We all know how these cycles work in our lives, and they lead to a lot of pain and suffering, which I talk about more in this spirituality blog post:
Cycles of Pain and Suffering
Waking Up: Spiritual Puberty and All Its AwkwardnessFortunately, people always have doorways to open and to grow spiritually. These moments are always right here and right now if we know how to look at our lives and the many lessons we naturally attract. In the specific spiritual shift of spiritual awakening, a whole bunch of doorways and life lessons are flooding in. All these issues and old pains that we didn't deal with kept us locked in childhood. Now the growing pains of spiritual maturation have arrived. It's not a fun time period for many of us, although it can be immensely rewarding. Much like in our physical adolescence, everything becomes extremely awkward, and you feel really out of sorts. You kinda know where you're going, but not really. Emotions get really activated. All in all, you don't know who you are anymore.
Sadly, our culture does a terrible job accepting teenagers and the physical maturation they go through much less anything spiritual. We want to ignore them and all the stuff waking up in them. It's a terrible thing because no one really helps teenagers understand the sexual maturation occurring in their bodies (SexEd really doesn't count in my opinion. "Hey everyone. This is a condom. And good luck!"). Subsequently, because it's so ignored or diminished, a lot of the sexual energy can also get stirred up in the overall spiritual awakening that brings us to spiritual adulthood. That's not bad, but it does require a certain level of skillfulness so you don't get lost or overwhelmed in it. The point I'm getting to essentially is that the society doesn't know how to handle this awkwardness that everyone goes through already. Don't expect a lot of external compassion for your shifts. Just go within towards the true love that you are seeking anyway.
Making Space in Society for Spiritual Transition in AdulthoodThere is no specific age for when a spiritual shift or transition may come. It arises when it arises. However, I think it's important that society begins to understand, expect, and respect these transitions. Much like when puberty hits, we all understand that there's a process from childhood into sexual adulthood. When people get into their late 20s and early 30s, this can often be one of the first natural doorways into spiritual adulthood. As young men and women finish the physical maturation, new levels of emotional and spiritual maturation may naturally arise.
For a spiritual awakening, people will generally require a sabbatical or extended vacation from the "normal" life of society. What's required of everyone to settle into their spiritual adulthood varies widely. Everyone moves through different issues in different ways, and everyone moves towards a vibration that is appropriate for them. I often like to use plant metaphors to give people an idea of how different we can all be. For instance, the growth and maturation of a rose bush is quite different than a redwood tree, but it's important that this process is embraced regardless of your particular path.
Qualities of a Spiritual AdultIn a stabilized state of awareness, the spiritual adult is much clearer about what is important in life and what is fluff. You don't have to awaken to come into your spiritual adulthood of this lifetime, and since this isn't a term I use too often, I wouldn't even get hung up on this concept. It is merely one way to express the many different levels of awareness we shift through in a concrete way.
Some simple traits to spot in a spiritual adult can include:
- An ease in offering love and compassion to any situation
- Greater patience
- Clarity on what is real in life and what is illusion
- Less inclination to blame others for things
- More openness in expression and in being who they are